“To be human is precisely to be responsible. It is to feel, by placing one’s stone, that one contributes to building the world.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As an actor in the world, in the community, what do I put in place, through my company, for sustainable development? What am I doing to generate something positive for the community, beyond ecology?

In order to realize this, it is important to take the time to analyze what we are already doing and what we need to change.

To be able to design or maintain its product or service offerings, the company must listen to its market and, above all, protect it. A balance is then established between the longevity of activities and the major planetary issues.

Our ways of working are inevitably affected and evolve rapidly. New forms of management are needed. It is therefore extremely important to accompany employees through these changes, which can sometimes be radical.

No company can ignore its social responsibility any longer. More than that, it is a passport to their future.

Role of the Board of Directors

Strategic thinking on CSR matters and decisions are made at the level of the Board of Directors. We want to ensure that the way forward is the right one, beyond the company’s doors.

That’s why working on your CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is valuable from every point of view: It improves your employer brand, attracts consumers, investors and talents.

Three missions of the Board of Directors:

On CSR issues, which are vast and transversal, the Board of Directors has three missions that will influence the added value of products or services:

  1. Adapt to new socio-economic paradigms and regulatory contexts
  2. Anticipate and understand the constraints, threats or opportunities of regulations and business requirements
  3. Thinking Out of the Box to foster creative and innovative environments

Board Positioning:

The Board of Directors will have to take a collective position and establish the axes of the CSR approach on the basis of several elements:

  1. Ensure the management of CSR risks and extract opportunities in order to adapt the business model if necessary – in this way, governance will guarantee the relevance and effectiveness of the approach
  2. Ensure that the CSR approach improves overall performance. These action priorities are established collaboratively, thus avoiding greenwashing, since the organization is based on an assessment and a decision to move forward.

Role of the independent director

The independent director :

  • must be able to convince that CSR creates value for the company and its stakeholders
  • strives to have the necessary distance to easily identify the different approaches and levels of integration of CSR in annual reports
  • must ensure that all stakeholders facilitate the implementation of the CSR approach
  • Ensures alignment of interest in CSR within the board to ensure the sustainability of the institution
  • is at the right level to challenge CSR reporting, steering and monitoring

At Apia Swiss we are aware that a lot of work remains to be done in SMEs. We are here to help you think about this inevitable and at the same time, so beneficial step.

APIA Swiss Team